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British MA prestige worth it? LSE vs Oxford vs NSSR?


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Hello all,

I've been admitted into and need to decide now between:

1) MSc Sociocultural Anthropology @ Oxford 

2) MSc Anthropology and Development @ LSE 

3) MA Anthropology @ The New School for Social Research

4) ---- waiting to hear back from MA Sociocultural Anthropology @ Columbia 


The teeniest bit of background possible: I'm 1-year out of Uni from a small, liberal arts college in the USA, BA summa cum laude in Anthropology with concentrations in Political Science & Arabic. My field of interest is refugee humanitarianism (specifically humanitarian/national 'imaginaries', transnational governmentality, citizenship, etc etc, especially in MENA regions).

I applied to these 4 programs for their very specific departmental/collegiate exemplification of *prominent refugee studies scholars, *MENA/Islam scholars, *Arabic language courses.

I'm facing two main factors: cost and prestige. 

The New School program is 2-years but with a large tuition stipend will end up costing approx. the same as the other 1-year programs. Have yet to hear from all funding for other two schools, but they don't give much. Apartment hunting in NYC & London sounds terrifying and extremely costly...

Miriam Ticktin teaches at the New School and is very likely the most renowned refugee scholar out of all 4 departments. 

Looking forward I hope to either pursue a PhD or work in non-profit, policy, research related to my field. The British schools are undoubtedly much more prestigious, LSE has the draw of the Development focus of the program, which would allow me to broaden my anthropological lens. Oxford is well Oxford.

A 2-year program seems appealing in that it would allow me to really challenge and deconstruct my ideas and assumptions in order to prepare me for a PhD, while the 1-year programs would require I work at least a year after in order to use them to apply for PhD. But if I end up working, the British school prestige will help.

So.... how to decide the right "fit" while taking prestige into consideration, without it taking over the wheel completely? Is an expensive 1-year MA from a good name worth the cost if I end up going into a PhD? 

LSE vs Oxford.... prestige for American PhD programs?


Thank you thank you!




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